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Boardwalk Empire's the New Mad Men as it scoops top TV drama gong

It was a good night for HBO, Glee and cheeky host Ricky Gervais at Hollywood's annual Golden Globe awards as the television awards were handed out.

HBO's Prohibition-era drama Boardwalk Empire dethroned Mad Men as TV's top drama -- in the estimation of Golden Globe voters. Al Pacino and Claire Danes both won acting awards for their roles in HBO movies.

Glee, meanwhile, won the Globe for television's best comedy or musical, its second Globe in the two years the exuberant Fox series has been on the air.

Actors who play two of its indelible characters, Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer, won supporting actor awards.

The night's first award winner, movie actor Christian Bale, uttered a swear word that was wiped out by censors on NBC's live TV feed.

Robert De Niro, who won a lifetime achievement award, also joked about foreign press association members and waiters being deported and was censored for saying "Christ" at one point.

Gervais got off several zingers. He touched on personal problems of Charlie Sheen and Robert Downey Jr, for example.

Gervais "used to be a slightly chubby, but very kind comedian," Tom Hanks said in presenting a late award.

"Neither of which he is now," chimed in Tim Allen. Gervais later thanked the audience for being good sports.

Besides beating Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire also topped another hot new show, AMC's The Walking Dead. Steve Buscemi, the Atlantic City boss who is the star of Boardwalk Empire, won his first Golden Globe as best actor in a drama. "I hope we do it for years and years and years," Buscemi said.

Terence Winter, who created Boardwalk Empire, seemed ready to pinch himself. "To my family and friends in Brooklyn, I can't believe I'm sitting at a table with Al Pacino, either," he said.

Pacino had his own walk to the stage, picking up his fourth Golden Globe, for acting in a TV movie.

Pacino, who portrayed suicide doctor Jack Kevorkian in HBO's You Don't Know Jack, talked about how interesting it was for him to play real people instead of fictional characters.

Danes played another real person in HBO's Temple Grandin, about an autistic woman who becomes an expert in animal behaviour.

Dressed in Western garb and sitting at Danes' table, Grandin hugged Danes when the award was announced.


Drama: Boardwalk Empire

Actor, Drama: Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire

Actress, Drama: Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy

Series, Musical or Comedy: Glee

Actor, Musical or Comedy: Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory

Actress, Musical or Comedy: Laura Linney, The Big C Miniseries or Movie: Carlos

Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Claire Danes, Temple Grandin

Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Al Pacino, You Don’t Know Jack Supporting Actress, Series,

Miniseries or Movie: Jane Lynch, Glee Supporting Actor, Series,

Miniseries or Movie: Chris Colfer, Glee